Friday November 16th: 8 Kislev
It was on this day in 1974 that the United Nations passed a resolution approving the right of Palestinians to a sovereign state at the expense of Israel. Time would fail us to recount all of the injustices and inconsistencies that have characterized the United Nations throughout the years, especially when it comes to the nation of Israel. Knowing that, a legitimate question arises: Why does Israel want to be part of a body that so easily and so readily hates them? Why does Israel want to be accepted into the community of nations when most of those nations want to destroy them? It’s akin to someone who wants to be friends with the bully who beats them up every day and takes their lunch money; why would anyone do that?
In the Scripture, we can see that this is a problem God’s people have experienced from the very beginning. God’s people have always wanted to be liked by everyone and be like everyone. For instance, after the prophet Samuel died, Israel looked around at the neighboring nations and determined that they needed a king, just like everyone else. So, when they demanded a king, God gave them a king. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so well.
Many times, in Scripture, we see that God gave His people what they asked for, and it seldom turned out well. Perhaps He gave them what they wanted in order to teach them that what they wanted wasn’t what they needed. Might it be that the United Nations and other entities have been and will be used by God to teach Israel what they should’ve learned some time ago; that Israel is is to be a set apart nation? In Ezekiel 20:32-33, God has this to say to His people in the last days:
“What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the nations, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’ As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you.”
He seems to be saying to His people, “Though you desire to be accepted by the nations, you need to realize that acceptance from Me is what is most important.”
How many of us remember our parents telling us, “I don’t care what your friends get to do. You’re my child and this is my house. We’re going to go by my rules. I don’t care what their parents allow them to do, this is how we’re going to do things in this house.”? When confronted with this ultimatum, we had to make a decision to either rebel or conform. Similarly, the Creator says to His people, “If you won’t conform to My ways and instructions, and if you won’t fulfill the mandate be a set apart nation, then you’re in rebellion.” When God’s people choose to rebel, almost without fail, He uses those we want to be like as a rod of correction to set us apart, against our will!
Our attitude should be, “Let’s follow His rules because we want to. Let’s obey His Word because that’s what we should do.” If we are His children, our heart should be inclined to please Him. It shouldn’t be that we’re doing what He wants because we’re forced to. Consider the difference between the obedient son and the rebellious son. The rebellious son says, “I have to do these things or else.” The obedient son says, “I want to do these things in order to please my Father.” Let’s be the obedient sons and daughters who are motivated to do His Will because we love Him.